Monday, February 24, 2014

Getting Lost While Running and Chasing the Sun

     I have been running for a few years now. I love running, and love encouraging/inspiring others to run too. Somehow, I ended up accidentally creating my own kid’s running club with the gaggle of kids who live with us. So far, 6 out of 7 have been on runs with me.  One day, our friend Mike decided to join us. Why? Um…probably because he wants to get fit again and half these kiddos are his…and who doesn’t like running with their kids?
      Well, this man “hates” running. Or did. Until the other day…. It was time for a run with the kiddos, but only one 1 wanted to join us (after an hour of iceskating {and falling}). So we went. And guess what?? Mike decided that he may actually *like* running. Or love it. So we ran. I showed him the trails, spurring him on with phrases like, “If we just go a half mile more, you’ll see this”.  And after a mile & a half, it happened. His sense of adventure kicked in and he started saying crazy stuff like, “think we can figure out a way to get over there?”
       The phrase that caught me was “Let’s get lost”. “Um…okay!” I cheerfully agreed. (I tend to be game for anything…which is not always good, especially when you’re dragging a worn out 7yo with you because he’s the only one crazy enough to have gone with you crazy people in the first place). Also, I knew that after this, if we got lost…or expended all our energies….it would be the last time Christina would let us go running together. Oops.
      Our next mile was uphill. My 7yo begged us to head home. Mike’s response? “Let’s follow the sun”. so we did. We followed the sun, which ended up leading us to a main road that led us back to home.  So we didn’t die, get lost or trampled by moose. But, one of us discovered a passion for running…and for now, that is enough…. 
   (Some irony- my youth pastor's nickname for me in highschool was "sun catcher" because....he envisioned me trying to catch the sun in a shoebox….

Monday, February 17, 2014

How I (Almost) Didn't Get My New Job

       This. This is how Michelle gets all excited and sounds like a complete moron on the phone to potential employers. What follows is my best recollection of a recent conversation with the HR department on the local military base (I had applied for & was interviewed for a position at a child care center there):

Phone rings. I was sooooooooo excited about answering that my cheek accidentally put the person on hold. So then, there was nothing. NOTHING.
Finally, I figured out my mistake and took the poor fellow of hold.
HR: Hello. May I please speak to Michelle?
Me: This is her.
HR: Hi, Michelle. I'm calling to see if you would like to accept the position for the (something something, something) position at the {Facility name here} Child Development Center? (For some reason, they have to offer you the position, instead of telling you that "You have the job!")
Me: Yes! Yes, I would!!!
HR: Okay. That pays $$. Am I to understand you don't have base access?
Me: Yes. I cannot get on base.
HR: Okay. Can you give me your driver's licence number?
Me: Sure! Let me get that for ya. Okay, it's {insert random numbers & letters here}.
HR: And what is your social security number?
Me: (brain starts to function) It's {starts reciting numbers}......Wait. How do I know that I'm actually talking to someone in the military? How do I know this is real??
HR: Um...I'm {some average name} in the HR department on {insert base name}.
Me: K. Just want to make sure. Okay, it's {finishes spouting off numbers}
HR: Okay, thanks. And what's a good email for you?
Me: (I start spelling. Then I realized how "not professional" my email sounds....ooops)

And despite my reaction to the poor HR guy on the phone (they gotta understand that the whole military thing is new to me, okay?? I used to think you could only work on a base if you are military....and sometimes I believe the whole "conspiracy/illuminati" stuff...and of course, it would be ME that someone would call and pretend to be from the government and ask me for my private info, I went through the rest of the hiring process and have been working at the CDC for a few months (Okay, so scratch that. They actually transferred me from the CDC I started with, but I'm happy, the bosses are happy and...we try to keep the kiddos happy).

Monday, February 10, 2014

Little Lost Amber

     This weekend all 11 of us took advantage of the local museum's "First Friday = free admission" deal. 4 adults + 11 kiddos = almost 2 kids per adult, right?? This means tracking would be simple, right?? Yeah, right...Within ten minutes of being there, we (I) lost one. One minute Amber was standing next to me, the next she was gone. Nowhere in sight.  And I wasn’t too concerned over it. I figured, that’s her fault for not staying with Mommy. I’ve been over it enough with her, she should know better by now. Apparently she didn’t.
    However, Christina was concerned, so that concerned me, so I went looking for her (and U didn’t find her) so  I went to the front desk called security. And, as things go, as soon as the front desk called security, Amber had been magically found by one of guards. Story is, she had been crying. So I trekked up two flights of stairs with the security guy (the elevator wasn’t cooperating) and found her standing with Mr. Mike & a gaggle of kids, all better. So we went on our way.
        About an hour later, we were still exploring the exhibits when a security guy said, “Hi, Amber!” to her. Whoah. As a mom, this completely weirded me out. I assume he was one of the people who helped find her, but still.  At least introduce yourself to her mother first. 

         Later reflection about the incident made me realize that this is not the first time it’s happened. I searched my blog for the post I knew I wrote about, only to find a second one also. Apparently, her getting lost is a trend. Crowded space or not, she’s a wanderer. And oblivious. And she almost got lost again that night.
            Unfortunately, I do not believe I am a concerned enough parent. If you notice, in this instance & post #2 I talk about my friend being more concerned about my daughter missing than I am. Why? Who knows. Maybe I feel that Amber brings it on herself. Maybe it's because I know that when she cries really hard, she pees herself, and who wants to keep that around?? 
              Anywho, I think we need to get her implanted with a tracking chip. !Viola! No more missing Amber! (Can you imagine if everyone had one of these implanted when they were born?? No more missing children/adult cases! No more wasting resources to find folks lost on hikes! We would know for sure whether or not they were eaten by a beluga! We could stop serial killers in their tracks! Why are we not funding this???) Well, I googled it, and apparently it's not a legit thing yet, but one day...one day soon....until then, a short leash will have to do...Who wants to go to PetSmart with me??

Monday, February 3, 2014

What People Ask Us

        I know it seems like I've been posting about Alaska a lot, but...that's because we're here. And don't know why. And I think the most frustrating part is telling people that. Because we sound like crazy people...and maybe we just are. (No. We definitely are). So here is what just about every conversation I have with people who ask "So where ya from?" looks like:

       Random Person: "So are you new to Alaska?"
       Me:        "Yep". (And then I volunteer {because I know "When did you get here?" is the next question}) "Just moved here this summer."
       Random Person: " Oh. You military?" (I'm sure sometimes people use a few more words than that, but this is how it sounds in my head)
       Me:         "Nope" (A lot of people seem disappointed at this. Okay, so it seems that most of the people on the military base seem disappointed.... )      
       Random Person: "Oh. So are you from Alaska?"
       Me:         "Nope." (At this point we start getting looks like we're spontaneously growing ginormous horns from our foreheads)
       Random Person: "Oh...." (And this is the part where they look like they just got their tongue caught in a bug zapper-big eyes and all) "So...um... you just woke up one day & decided 'I'm going to move to Alaska' ?"
       Me:          "Well...yeah...it was kind of like that. See, we're crazy" (I add this at this point because by this time they've already mentally stamped "Crazy Train Approved" on our foreheads) "people and we believe God called us here."         
       Random Person: "What for?"
       Me:           "Um...well...we, uh... actually don't know yet. We're still working on that"  (Nothing shouts CRAZY PEOPLE ALERT!!!! like followers who have no end goal)     
       Random Person: So you got family up here?
       Me:           "Nope. Well...kinda. We have our friends that we moved here with"      
       Random Person: "So you moved here with your friends?" (Yes. Didn't I just say that??)
       Me:           "Yep. God called us all up here...for...um...no apparent reason."
       And typically that is where the conversation ends and the other person awkwardly drifts away....Because not too many people can handle " 'dem crazay God-folk". But God can...and that's why He's called us here...right??